Lunchtime Links: Where’s the Emotion in Your Content?

Lunchtime Links: Where’s the Emotion in Your Content?

What your association can learn from BuzzFeed's content creation strategy. Also: How does your organization measure success? Make sure you're using the right metrics.

Who doesn’t love cute animals on the internet? They often make us say “aw” or laugh hysterically. That content brings out your emotions, whether or not you want it to.

Does your association’s content reach your members’ emotions, or does it stop short? Maybe it could use the “cute animals” touch.

It’s not about the animals but about humans expressing themselves in a way that allows them to show empathy and other human emotions.

That, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Warm and fuzzy: BuzzFeed is a viral content megastorm. From cute animal listicles to long-form content, the site’s writers and contributors cover different topics, but they all have one thing in common, according to founder Jonah Peretti: They’re calling to human emotions. “That’s the key to why BuzzFeed is so popular on Facebook and what makes it so inherently viral. It’s not about the animals but about humans expressing themselves in a way that allows them to show empathy and other human emotions,” TechCrunch writer Ryan Lawler points out. Does your content touch your members’ emotions?

Measuring success: Wes Trochlil of Effective Database Management says one of his clients was unsure whether his association was successful but thought membership revenue was a good measure. However, that metric didn’t align with the organization’s overall objective, which was to expand the reach of the membership. Trochlil says he suggested the group create its own success measurements. “Before we can measure success we have to know how we’re measuring it,” he told them. “There could be a single measurement, like number of members, or total revenue, or net revenue after expenses. Or it could be a combination of those and others. But there has to be some agreed-upon objective against which we can measure our progress; otherwise we’ll never know if we’re succeeding.” How does your association measure success?

Volunteering and baby boomers: A recent study by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the rate of volunteering in the United States had declined 0.3 percent in the 12 months ended last September. The steepest decline was among baby boomers. Responding to a Forbes article suggesting that boomers are not finding enough of the skills-based, career-advancing volunteer opportunities they crave, Susan J. Ellis argues that many people, including baby boomers, are less “business-minded” about volunteering. “Isn’t a benefit of volunteering the chance to do the opposite of life in business? To focus on making a difference rather than making a profit?” Ellis writes on the Energize blog. She cautions against drawing too many conclusions from the BLS data, adding that baby boomers “are also likely motivated by the chance to have fun. How remarkable that volunteering is a way to step away from one’s daily work skills and do something totally different and refreshing that still benefits others.” Her bottom line: Organizations that rely on volunteers needn’t worry that their supply is about to dry up.

What’s on your reading list today? Let us know in the comments below.

Anita Ferrer

By Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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